Friday, November 13, 2009
The way advertising works in a postmodern world
I’m thinking about the ways in which media content bleeds into other media content. In this case I was watching a commercial for the Sony Vizio television set, and I’m focusing not on the product (I’m not in the market for a TV set), but on the song. Impressed with the music, I set out on a search. The website adtunes.com informs me that the song is by the electronic group Empire of the Sun and the title of the song is We Are the People. I do more research and find the song on MySpace.com and on Last.fm. Having located the song, I can download it and add it to my music collection for replay on my iPod. This is an unintended use of advertising and it exemplifies, to use a phrase out of cultural studies, the “intertextual web that we weave,” as one form of media content, in this case an advertisement, becomes interconnected with a popular song. This is certainly not the first time I’ve done this. It’s feels like a journey of discovery. I see an ad that attracts my attention because of something that unrelated to the product appeals to me, and I set out to find more about that "thing." On my journey I did visit the Sony website to see if the commercial was playing there, and in the past I have noticed that sometimes companies will “give away” the song on their website. So, perhaps this represents a fair trade-off: on my journey I learn something about the TV set, and I also get a song that I like. From a cultural perspective this represents the "work" advertising does on us, and the "work" we do with it.